Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What to get a writer this Christmas

Here’s a holdover question that is apropos for the holiday season. From Susan:

I have a good friend who writes for a tv show. What's a good gift to get for a tv writer, especially one who's out of work right now (between seasons, hoping to get picked up for next season) and is working on her own projects for a while? I got her a book on writing once that I love ("Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott) but it didn't go over well - she said she doesn't really like to read writing books, since she already has her own process that works well for her. Any hints or help?

Yeah, writers generally don’t take well to writing/motivation books. PAY THEM! That’s all the damn motivation they need.

You can’t get them clothes because most of their wardrobe comes from show jackets and shirts. I still get compliments on my IT’S ALL RELATIVE fleece.

I polled a number of writers and this seemed to be the general consensus.

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve, 20 years old bourbon.

20 comments:

Mitchell Hundred said...

I have no personal experience with this, but from what I've heard alcohol actually is useful for creative types. So yeah, good idea.

PatGLex said...

Living in the home state of Pappy Van Winkle, I approve. FWIW: it's a rare treat here, too.

Best holiday wishes to you and your excellent commenters.

Daws said...

You know hard it is to get your hands on Pappy 20? Go for 15...easier to get.

My son-in-law owns a Costco-sized wholesale liquor store -- Pappy is in my Christmas stocking every year.

He's a good boy. :)

Janet A said...

Love Pappy Van Winkle. Just wish I could afford to buy it more often.

Rebecca said...

Friday question. I was wondering what your thoughts were on this Gawker article about diversity hires in television rooms: http://defamer.gawker.com/in-the-white-room-with-black-writers-hollywoods-dive-1486789620. When you were hiring staff for your shows, was diversity in the room important to you? Do you think a diverse room can naturally create funnier material-more and different life experiences brought to the table that can be mined for comedy? And if so, why are networks so stuck in the past in regards to hiring for both onscreen and offscreen talent?

Valerie said...

...and then there's chocolate.

Cap'n Bob said...

Just what we need, more alcoholic writers.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I'm a writer and I don't drink, and I know enough writers who *shouldn't* drink that I wouldn't give booze as a gift.

A nice vintage fountain pen would be most welcome, though.

wg

Jon Sherman said...

Fountain pen? Is the writer getting bar mitzvahed in 1950? Whistle Pig Rye is also an excellent spirit and should be welcomed graciously by all writers, alcoholic or not.

Liggie said...

I heard somewhere that the gene carrying propensity for artistic and/or scientific genius also carries propensity for an addictive personality. If so, that would explain a lot.

Len said...

I can't drink. I'd rather have the fountain pen.

ScottyB said...

Back in the day (we're talking about decades 1940s thru the 1970s), a good bottle of hooch and a carton of smokes was *always* appreciated. The hooch didn't need to be overly expensive, just decent quality. Crown Royal in the blue cloth bag was a good standby: Not too cheap, not too pretentious, and favorite nephews or grandkids got the bag for their marbles.

A fountain pen? Why not go whole hog and give a jar of ink and one of those Ben Franklin/Louis XIV pens with the huge feather? They'll both sit unused in a drawer just the same. But boy, could you look impressive writing out your grocery list with one.

Mike Barer said...

There all Jewish, aren't they? (wink)

Storm said...

Just wanted to wish Ken and everyone a lovely and safe Christmas (whether it's your religious holiday or not; mine is Yule/Solstice, but I still dig Christmas in a secular kinda way).

I don't want to presume as to why he chose his username, so instead of Sweet Lady Booze, in my heart I'm sending Johnny Walker (my favourite English Writer/Nerd and Frequent Poster 'Round Here) a satsuma and a candy mouse. Pull a cracker for me, sweetie? Cheers!

D. McEwan: I wish you a big fat spliff of Cali's finest, and pleasant company to share it with. Thank you for making me laugh, and for being the cranky voice of reason.

Happy happy to all and sundry!

Storm

Steve said...

I use my fountain pen all the time. What are you talking about?

Johnny Walker said...

Bird By Bird is an excellent book, but maybe for a beginner, not for the professional creative writer :)

Wendy M. Grossman said...

The question was about writers. I know very few writers who would not love a high-quality fountain pen.

On the advice of a tech god, I recently bought a vintage Esterbrook myself after decades of gold-nibbed Parkers.

wg

D. McEwan said...

"Fountain Pen"? To go with my abacus and my two tin cans on a long string?

"Storm said...
D. McEwan: I wish you a big fat spliff of Cali's finest, and pleasant company to share it with. Thank you for making me laugh, and for being the cranky voice of reason.

Storm"


Thank you, Storm. I'm not sure what "A big fat spliff of Cali's" is but I appreciate the thought. I'm not a drinker, and a fountain pen just sounds like another thing the kitten can make an ungodly, horrific mess with while I'm asleep. (He's very good at coming up with hideous wake-up surprises for me.)

But Santa found the perfect gift for this writer this year: a lovely Dell laptop, for back-up when my main computer has one of its periodic illnesses.

Storm said...

Man alive, here I thought you was a reefer smokin' hep-cat! That there was modern lingo for "I wish you a large joint of the finest locally grown cannabis". Yay for your laptop!


Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm

D. McEwan said...

How embarrassing, because a big ole reefer smoker I am. (And legally prescribed by my primary care physician. All hail Obamacare!) I guess I'm just trapped in the pot lingo of the '60s. Neither "Spliff" nor "Cali" rang any bells. Of course, I was stoned when I read it.